One of the really great things about my last job was that I was immersed in books. Absolutely drowning in them, but as the saying goes, not a drop to read. I like many people was really busy and unable to focus on the littlest thing after an often 12-14 hour day. Focusing on that 800 page artistically challenging historical fiction literary masterpiece was way too daunting. That gorgeous exploration of human emotion… absolutely not! The clever, witty, collection of essays meant to enlighten me… nope. My speed was re-watching episodes of The Great British Bake Off on Netflix and staring covetously at pastries that will be forever out of my baking realm. What changed? I discovered a who world of well written adventure in the Teen aisle.
Teen books feature complex plots, life and death adventure, just enough romance, and all in a tightly edited package. Teen books tell the stories you want to read, but in a very accessible format. The editors of these books know that their audience is not going to sit through a lot of extraneous detail. Even books that come in at a shocking number of pages, pack those pages with tons of content. Thirty years ago, these books would have been adult books, they just found a niche market for them.
What books could I possibly read in that section that aren’t going to bore me to tears or irritate me with modern slang? Are you in luck. I have been personally selecting oodles of great books or our local library and I encourage everyone – not just adults, but kids and teens as well- to visit our library and find something good to read. We have several adventure books with female heroines who are strong and courageous and fight for what they believe in. We have rollicking adventures with heroes struggling to find themselves and failing at just about everything along the way. We have dragons, and boy wizards, and hobbits. We even have a book with a green slug with eyes on stalks that dreams of nothing but becoming a bellhop. His name is Chauncey and I think he may be one of my absolute favorite characters that I have ever read.
Do you like royal watching? Try The Selection Series. It has both ball gowns and gladiatorial style games! Do you like comic books or superhero movies? Try the Extraordinaries! Superheroes are real and Nick Bell is their super obsessed fan. Did you love watching The Witcher, The Lord of the Rings, or Spartacus? Try the Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas. She also has a series about the Seelie court. Lethal. Immortal. Fairies. Who could ask for anything more? Still not convinced. Children of Blood and Bone, Beasts Made of Night, War Girls, and Ember in the Ashes will take you places where you have never been. Pining for Harry? Try Fangirl, Carry On, and Wayward Son as all share that same sense of wonder. Missing (or curious about Twilight) try City of Bones. It’s gritty and exciting with too many cliffhanger endings to count. There’s a series of great mysteries, a series about a murderous competition for an inheritance, a book about mermaids, and a book about on the job training as death. There are so many great books waiting for you here at your local library for free! I wish you a good books and a great read.